Knowing that strawberry season is “basil”-ly at an end causes unknown quantities of tears and sadness for me. Maybe the rest of you are all just like “you’ve eaten one strawberry, you’ve eaten them all” or “Bah! They’ll be back again next year, stop your whining!” But will they be back? Will they!!!?? Ok, they probably will, but really, who knows what the future holds? For all we know this could truly be the end of days, not just for strawberries, but for all of us! Now that I’ve officially taken this too far, let’s move on shall we? 🙂
These delicious little beauties were made with some of the strawberries that Kevin and I picked a few weeks ago (no, I didn’t use moldy strawberries I promise. I froze them and ended up with a massively huge bag of the ruby red gems and I’m hoarding them like it’s the apocalypse and this is the last known food on earth. Usually I’m not a conspiracy theorist and think all that stuff is total bunk, but you can never be too careful 😉 ).
Now of course, I’ve yet again gone a slightly too tried and true pairing, no one could really celebrate my ingenuity and thinking-outside-the-box-edness (although maybe they could for that awesome word/phrase invention) for pairing strawberries with basil, but in my defence, I did super celebrate the basil in these little tarts. Not only is the basil mixed into the strawberries and cream tart filling, but I infused it into the dough as well, so there’s all kinds of basil goodness in these puppies. If you really wanted to go crazy, I suppose you could feel free to also add some basil to the crumb topping, but that just felt like going too far. Ok, that’s a lie, the only reason that didn’t happen for me was because I just thought of doing it now while writing this, by which point 90% of these have been consumed so it’s the age old tale of too little too late 🙁 . Next time basil, next time.
Now to completely sidetrack myself (which in case you haven’t noticed is something I am wont to do), the other upside of buying fresh basil is that I also have a big love for tomatoes (no word of a lie, I actually buy tomato sauce and just eat it straight from the jar. In fact I consume it that way much much more frequently than I do in it’s “traditional/ society-mandated” method of eating it on pasta of some sort. For me, pasta is just a vehicle for the sauce, so one day I thought to myself “Why not cut out the middle man? Who says I need to have a vehicle (outside of a spoon of course) with which to eat the tomato-saucy goodness?”). Now tomatoes and/or tomato sauce are also an excellent combination, and tomatoes are in season now too, so the leftover basil would most definitely get used up.
I also ended up with a bit of crumble leftover, which I’ve been liberally sprinkling on top of my oatmeal all week. It’s delicious. So much so in fact that I might just have to start making crumble on purpose as oatmeal topping. My usage of baking leftovers in my breakfast though might be getting out of hand. Crumble on my oatmeal, coconut milk ice cream in my coffee. If this keeps up, my breakfast will soon consist of a bowl of crushed cookies, topped with crumble and instead of coffee, a cup of mocha flavoured mousse topped with coconut milk ice cream. Not that that doesn’t sound amazing of course, but instead of the breakfast of champions that it should be, it sounds more like the breakfast of the 3pm sugar crash. I might need to rethink my post baking recycling plan 😉 .
Yield: Approx. 18 – 20 tarts
- 1 coconut oil crust recipe (here) – add 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil to the dough (optional)
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- 3/4 cups vegan cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon chocolate balsamic vinegar (or just regular balsamic vinegar)
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vegan butter melted
- 1.5 tablespoons oatmeal
1. Make coconut oil pie crust. While dough is chilling in the fridge, preheat oven to 350F and grease mini muffin tin.
2. In a food processor or high speed blender, combine strawberries, cream cheese, icing sugar, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and basil. Blend until completely puréed. Place in refrigerator to chill slightly.
3. Remove pie dough from the fridge and break off small golf ball size rounds of dough and, using your thumbs, press into mini muffin tin so that dough goes all the way up the side (i.e. make a mini pie tart shell). Bake for 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly and press down dough slightly if necessary (i.e. if it’s puffed up a bit in the center).
4. While this is cooling make crumble topping. Combine brown sugar, flour, vegan butter and oatmeal. Mix together until crumble topping consistency forms.
5. Remove strawberry filling from the fridge and fill each mini pie shell close to the top. Top with crumble.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until crumble topping starts to brown. Allow to cool completely. Store in the refrigerator.